I believe people who use excessively strong and inflammatory language to convey their thoughts on an issue lose credibility and confuse the issue.
The cat in Pine was killed, but it was not murdered.
It also was not innocent. Animals are neither guilty nor innocent. That is only a human trait and so is murder. Murder is a legal term for "why and how" a human kills another human. A person killing another person can be labeled anything from self-defense to murder. Unless you want the teenager who killed the cat to be put in prison for life, or put to death, don't say he murdered the cat.
Anthropomorphism is a common word to me now. It means applying human traits to animals. An animals rights group (P.E.T.A.) received some serious backlash a few years ago by comparing millions of chickens being killed (for Kentucky Fried Chicken) to the six million Jews (and others) murdered in the Holocaust.
Most of us know the sadness of losing a pet and can relate to the cat owner's feelings. All that most of us know about the cat in Pine is that it had no collar or tags. The cat's owners were not around, it was on someone else's property, and it was intentionally killed by a teenager.
Our legal system will decide the rest.
And one final comment on the "cheap shot" a letter to the editor took at the parents of the six teenagers involved in "terrorizing" folks and "murdering cats." This person was judge, jury and executioner of all six teenagers and all their parents. As far as I have heard, no one has yet to be convicted of anything, much less all six teenagers and all of their parents. To make a statement like this is vicious.
He also took a cheap shot at hunters by stating that while the boys were out doing these "horrific" deeds, "all" their parents were out "hunting the Big 10" (referring to the number of big game species in Arizona).
James L. Young, Payson